John M. Becker

Nancy Reagan Refused to Help Rock Hudson as He Died of AIDS

Filed By John M. Becker | February 04, 2015 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Quote of the Day
Tags: AIDS, Charles Francis, heartless, HIV/AIDS, Mattachine Society, Nancy Reagan, Rock Hudson, Ronald Reagan

"I spoke with Mrs. Reagan about the attached telegram. She did not feel this was something the White House should get into and agreed to my suggestion that we refer the writer to the U.S. Embassy, Paris."

-- Mark Weinberg, a staffer in the Reagan White House, on the administration's response to a plea from Rock Hudson's publicist for help when the star sought treatment for AIDS from a cutting-edge doctor in Paris. First Lady Nancy Reagan turned down the request. Hudson died nine weeks later.

The revelation was contained in documents obtained from the Reagan Presidential Library by Charles Francis and the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C. and provided to BuzzFeed reporter Chris Geidner. Read Geidner's full report here.

(Side note: Longtime HIV/AIDS activist Peter Staley called shenanigans, pointing out that the Reagans frequently doled out favors to their Hollywood friends from the White House. Just not the one who had "that frightening homosexual disease.")

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